Embracing Ramadan in the Bo-Kaap


As the month of Ramadan approaches, there’s a certain magic in the air. It’s not just about fasting from dawn till dusk; it’s a time when communities come together, embracing traditions and flavours that are deeply rooted in culture and history.

By: Janine Avery

As a non-Muslim, but a born and bred Capetonian, for me, Ramadan isn’t just a religious observance; it’s a time of reflection, gratitude, and of course, indulging in authentic local flavours.

This year, I decided to embark on a culinary journey like no other, exploring the rich tapestry of tastes that come alive during this time of year. My journey led me to the Hyatt Regency Cape Town, a haven for those seeking authentic experiences in the heart of the city. The hotel is the first Hyatt branded property in the city, located right in the heart of the Bo-Kaap area, on the corner of Wale and Buitengracht Street.

Step outside its doors and your senses are immediately assaulted by the brightly coloured houses this area is so famous for. Hues of fuschia pink, lime green, bright blue, and fire-engine red stretching out towards the mountain. And of course, tour groups all jostling for the perfect Instagram image.

In fact, so many tourists flock to these parts to immerse themselves in some local culture and even try the delicious food, and this is just what the Hyatt is offering during the holiest of months in the Muslim calendar. Here, fasters or not, can indulge in authentic local flavours and typical Ramadan delicacies as part of their unique Ramadan Iftar Buffet.

Ramadan Iftar Buffet

Stepping into the Hyatt to see if the offering matched the marketing flair, I was immediately greeted by the warmth of the hospitality. The ambiance was vibrant, with the air filled with the tantalizing aroma of spices and delicacies. Adorned with top hats and suits we were immediately welcomed into the fold as one of the family, and from there the experience only got better and better.

Those delicious smells pulled us towards the buffet, where a sumptuous spread awaited the music that sounded the breaking of the fast. Tandoori style butter chicken, potato curry, fish and prawn biryani and of course, a tantalising array of savouries. Each one more delicious than the last and all a triumph of authenticity.

The curries were delightfully hot, not dumbed down for tourists’ tastes, the samosas packed full to the brim with spicy potatoes and the meaty masala the perfect blend of spice and heat. Although our tummies could hardly contain anything more, we also couldn’t resist the dessert table laden with mini homemade milktarts, chai cheesecake and pistachio and toasted almond Soji, a rich and creamy traditional Indian type of custard.

With full tummies we retreated to our room on the 8th floor, stopping for a brief interlude in the communal lounge to watch the sun turn pink over the Table Mountain and the colourful houses all fade into the night.

Contemporary elegance and comfort

Our room providing a harmonious blend of contemporary elegance and comfort and delightful touches such as a special turn down for my daughter in her cot with a sweet chocolate and her ‘babies’ laid out beautifully provided the proverbial cherry-on-top.

The bathroom, with its large tub and local floral-scented amenities, a serene sanctuary to unwind after a busy day and great meal, and the balcony offered breathtaking views of the cityscape, particularly when the sun rose over the Bo-Kaap area below.

A sparkling pool, and adjoining café and cocktail area provided the perfect place to soak up the African sun after another buffet of epic proportions for breakfast, consisting of pancakes, waffles, and all the trimmings, alongside the usual bacon and egg suspects.

Every dining experience culinary journey curated to perfection. We sure were spoiled for choice, savouring delectable dishes that really showcased the area.

The perfect way to appreciate this magnificent city we call home in what is to many the most important month of the year.


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